Name: Maria Curley

Teams represented: Templemore Ladies, Tipperary football

Age: 19

Occupation: Student

Hobbies: Football, Camogie, Horse riding

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Any big memories from teenage years?
The two minor All-Irelands would definitely be on the top of my list anyway.

Any challenges you’ve faced?
I suppose losing my granddad this year was tough. He was such a massive fan of camogie but once I started with the football he never missed a game. It’s been weird playing without him up and down the sideline.

Who influenced you growing up?
My granddad would have been a major influence but also my mother was very supportive all the way up along. Anything I needed she got. She is such a fantastic woman and I don’t give her half enough credit for it.

What has changed through your playing career?
The girls will love this one – but I suppose as they say I was demoted! I used to play mid-field underage and now I can’t seem to get past the full back line!!

Describe yourself as a 16 year old?
Naive, aspiring and dramatic.

Describe yourself now, how you’ve changed and any defining moments?

College has really changed me I think just looking back on it now. You get an opportunity to play with and against some of the best footballers in the country. It really gives you a real taste for it. Luckily for me UL are one of the best and it’s a real joy to be a part of it. It has forced me to be a lot more determined to become the best I can be.

Quick Q’s

Typical weekly training / game schedule:
Tuesday – Tipp training. I try to fit 2 gym sessions in on a Wednesday and Thursday. Friday – Tipp training. Sunday – Tipp games.
Camogie slots in to whenever I get a chance not as often as I would like though.

Favourite Manager(s), and why?:
It would have to be a tossup between two.
Elaine Harte and Fiona McHale. Two absolutely amazing coaches to have worked with.
Elaine for her organization and precision alone was something I had never experienced before and something I’ll never forget.

Sporting Hero:
Juliet Murphy – For as long as I can remember I have looked up to her, she is such a role model and an inspiration on the field. A couple of years ago Elaine organized a session with her. She did the whole thing with us and id say the ball spent more time on the floor than in our hands. STARSTRUCK

Best thing about being an intercounty player:
Wearing the blue and gold jersey. I don’t think anything will match the feeling of game day. The mixture of nerves and excitement is something nothing else can give me.

Funniest thing to ever happen:
Oh god, Training with Jimmy Sweeney a couple of years ago in general was just hilarious!! But I would have to say when he bent over and split the arse of his pants open… We all nearly got sick laughing.

Favourite team mate/player:
Jennifer Grant – Jen’s dedication is something we all should learn from. Both on and off the field she is an amazing player and person. But as kind and all as she may be, be careful because wow those one-liners hurt!!

Hardest thing about playing at county level:
Juggling county football with club, college and work isn’t easy and sometimes can become hard work but realistically it’s all worth it in the end.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given:
Chase the dream not the competition.

Three words other people would use to describe you:
Oh god I suppose cheeky, Sneery and they would probably say OCD.

What are you most proud of so far (on or off the field!):
Definitely would have to be the two minor All-Irelands.